HOME > NEWS > 【Match Report】U-17 Japan Women's National Team eliminated from the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™ after losing to Spain 1-2 at the quarterfinals


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【Match Report】U-17 Japan Women's National Team eliminated from the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™ after losing to Spain 1-2 at the quarterfinals

23 October 2022

【Match Report】U-17 Japan Women's National Team eliminated from the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™ after losing to Spain 1-2 at the quarterfinals

The U-17 Japan Women's National Team, who advanced to the knockout stage of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™ buy topping Group D, faced the U-17 Spain Women's National Team at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday 22 October.

Having made three changes to their starting line-up since their match against France, Japan entered the quarterfinals with a high level of intensity. Led by TANIKAWA Momoko and SHINJO Miharu, who started as defensive midfielders in three consecutive matches, Japan showed great ball movements to build their attacks. However, Spain gradually took control over the ball possession through their collective defence and accurate passes. Led by Vicky LOPEZ, the youngest player ever to make her first team debut at FC Barcelona, the Spanish side effectively mixed their dribbling and passing skills to get around the Japanese defence.

Despite being exploited in both flanks, the Japanese defence displayed exceptional concentration to defend their goal. In the 23rd minute, OYA Sakura made a tenacious effort to block a shot. Japanese goalkeeper IWASAKI Uruha made a save to deny the powerful shot taken by Carla CAMACHO in the 33rd minute. Two minutes later, Iwasaki collided with Camacho inside the box to give Spain a penalty kick, but the attempt made by Camacho went over the cross bar.

Spain created opportunities through a variation of set pieces but led by the tenacious efforts made by the two centre-backs, NAKATANI Rina and KOGA Toko, Japan managed to keep the score tied 0-0 at halftime.

As coach KANO Michihisa later reflected, “We managed to fix the timing of our pressure in the second half,” Japan created chances by winning the ball deep in the opposing end, as shown in the 46th minute, when TSUJISAWA Ai responded to a poorly executed back pass, but the Spanish goalkeeper made a great save to deny this opportunity. However, Spain continued to take control of the match, as Lucia CORRALES and Lopez each had a close chance in the 49th and 56th minutes respectively, but Iwasaki was there to make the save on both occasions.

Japan’s persistent efforts came to fruition in the 66th minute, when Tanikawa collected a cleared ball and struck a magnificent left footed shot from distance that captured the upper corner of the Spanish goal.

However, Spain gained more momentum after making a triple change in the 84th minute, which led to the equaliser and go-ahead goal scored by Lopez in the 87th minute and the 93rd minute to put Spain ahead and eliminate Japan from the tournament at the quarterfinals.

Coach and Players' Comments

KANO Michihisa, Head Coach of U-17 Japan Women's National Team
We played through some tough stints, but the players fought hard to keep the game close. We were able to take the lead with limited ball possession, but it was really disappointing that we couldn't hold on to that one goal lead. While valuing the dedication, cheerfulness, respect and determination that characterise the spirit of Nadeshiko, the players always remembered to smile and take on challenges with a positive attitude, and we were very grateful for the support we received from the supporters and fans at the local venues. It is a pity that we are no longer able to express our gratitude at the next stage. I believe that we are on the right track, so we will continue to build on what we have been working on, and I hope the players will further improve their technique and decision making abilities as they strive to reach higher categories in their football career. We would like to thank everyone who supported our activities despite the ongoing pandemic, including the players who did not make the roster for this tournament, and all the fans and supporters who have supported the team from the development age to help us to grow. Thank you very much.

GK #1 IWASAKI Uruha (Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara Due)
I have given my all for the team, so I am very disappointed that I couldn’t protect the lead at the end. This tournament reminded me of what I lack as a player. However, I am happy that we all made it through the group stage in first place and have been able to make it this far, so I hope to make the most of this experience in the future. My ability to stop shots was one of the areas where I felt like I improved the most through this tournament. I became more eager to challenge crosses, which had never been my forte, and I was able to learn a lot from this tournament. From now on, I will try to visualise a real game situation at each of my daily trainings and strive to become a goalkeeper who is trusted by my teammates. The great thing about the World Cup is that people from different countries cheer on each other, and I was very happy to hear all the cheers from the crowd.

DF #16 NAKATANI Rina (Cerezo Osaka Sakai Girls)
We entered the match fully determined to win against Spain. Although we managed to keep the game scoreless in the first half and take the lead in the second half, we ended up conceding two goals at the end, which was very disappointing. The team became more united with each match, and we could hear more people cheering for Japan as we progressed through. However, there were many things that we lacked compared to other teams, and I realised that I myself had to become stronger in order to compete at the world level. Although we were unable to achieve our goal of winning the title this time, we will continue to aim higher and get stronger, so please continue to support us.

DF #17 KOGA Toko (JFA Academy Fukushima)
We told each other not to concede another goal after we gave up the equaliser, but ended up conceding the lead at the end, which was very frustrating. Through this tournament, I feel like was able to showcase my ability to compete against players with greater athleticism, but I need to become a player who can stay focused throughout the entire 90 minutes of the match. I wasn’t able to contribute to the team’s offence at all, so I will work hard to showcase an improved version of myself at the next World Cup. Recently, we had been playing matches with no spectators due to the pandemic, so it was a valuable experience to have so many people cheering for us, which reminded me of the greatness of football once again.

MF #14 TANIKAWA Momoko (JFA Academy Fukushima)
We worked hard towards this match against Spain, and although we were able to defend through the tough stints, our weakness was exposed at the very end. This match really made me want to become a player that can help the team win in matches like these. I hope Spain win the title. Now that I have seen them celebrate their victory over us, I want to use that as motivation to become a better player and come back to the stage of the World Cup again. I will strive to become a player who can score goals under pressure and win the ball even when played with higher intensity.

MF #7 KONNO Maho (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Urawa Reds Ladies Youth)
Spain was a very powerful team, but their individual skills were what made them different from our previous opponents. We struggled to win the ball against them, and I wish we could have communicated better in this match. This was a team where everyone got along and worked well with each other both on and off the pitch, so it is very disappointing that our journey ends here. Through this tournament, I feel like I was able to showcase my defensive strengths, so I hope to improve on my shooting and dribbling skills to help the team score goals in future tournaments. My next goal is to make the top team at my club and play an active role there. After that, I would like to join the Nadeshiko Japan and aim to win the World Cup, which we could not achieve at this tournament.

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™

Tournament Dates: Tue. 11 - Sun. 30 October 2022

Group Stage
1st Match: Wed. 12 October 20:00 vs U-17 Tanzania Women's National Team
2nd Match: Sat. 15 October 20:00 vs U-17 Canada Women's National Team
3rd Match: Tue. 18 October 20:00 vs U-17 France Women's National Team
Knockout Stage
Quarterfinals: Sat. 22 October 20:00 vs U-17 Spain Women's National Team
*Time shown in local time

Tournament Information

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